Iraq mess likely to persist post-election

As the elections draw close the big debate today is between, “Cut & Run” vs “Stay the Course” (sorry, this should be “Get the job done” which is the new Whitehouse mantra). While “Stay the Course” or “Get the job done” means continue to fight the war until the terrorists are defeated (the same boring posturing from different angles), Cut and Run proponents seem to have an interesting view on the issue.

The Republicans are driving home the fear factor that if the Democrats gain control, Cut & Run is guaranteed. The Democrats on the other hand are trying hard to not to seem “soft on terror” (resorting to time tables and other supposed anti-war stands etc.). The Democrats gaining control is likely to result in a host of investigations while the Republicans retaining control will mean more of the status quo.

This election might be all about the war in Iraq. But the sad part is that the mess in Iraq is likely to persist, no matter what the outcome of the election might be. A continued Republican control will mean a further endorsement of the war policy in Iraq. A change of hands will at least signal to the world that the American public is interested in a fresh look at its Iraq policy.

Champions Trophy: SL Crumbles

I was surprised to hear that SL crumbled against SA. On the slow turning wickets in India and based on current form, I thought SL had a good chance of scoring the fairly achievable target. But credit to SA bowlers. In general, this Champions trophy seems to be a low scoring affair. Its nice to see bowlers dominating. The ODIs have almost unfairly shifted the balance in favor of batsman. Its a nice change to have the batsmen earn every run!

Its a pity India is not playing Kumble despite having so many turning tracks. India will do well to play Mongia in the next match ahead of Raina, perhaps?

Rove thinks GOP Still Has A Chance

Karl Rove,the genius behind Bush’s 2004 re-election, doesn’t believe the opinion polls about a GOP fall in 2006. Genius once, genius twice? It would be remarkable success for him if he is able to pull off a GOP victory again. Many opinion polls put Kerry ahead of Bush in 2004, so his views on the opinion polls are not surprising. I saw Rove speak the other day (on TV) at a Republican fundraiser. I came away pretty impressed about his speaking abilities though I don’t agree with anything he said.

Talking of speaking abilities, I also caught some of Hillary Clinton’s debate for the NY Senate race. She speaks well and appeared very confident. But she comes across as tough and not necessarily likeable. She is sure to flunk the “whom would you rather have a beer with” test. Surprisingly, she never looked into the camera or at the panel.

Cricket: Insightful Views from Lillee

Dennis Lillee makes an important point about the ageing Australian batting line up. It is interesting that he has come up with these comments despite the fact that the Aussie team has been performing quite well while England is struggling. This is probably what makes the Aussies so good. Even when things are going well they constantly look to the future. I won’t be surprised if the Aussies try for a blend of youth and experience when it comes to the Ashes.

Gundappa Viswanath

This article brought back memories. I grew up being a huge fan of Viswanath. I remember those pitched arguments with Gavaskar fans. Unfortunately, in those days ODI were relatively less popular. He was a natural ODI batsman. I still remember the time when he used to play for SBI in the local league. Scores of cricket crazy fans would pack the grounds (RKM ground in Chennai for instance) to see the master in action. He seldom took these matches seriously. He would come in at 4 or 5 down, play a few of his favorite square cuts and then get out! The interesting part is that most of the crowd would disperse after he was out!

ICC Champions Trophy: Lousy Schedule

The BCCI schedule for the Champons trophy is ridiculous to say the least. India has a 10-day gap after its first match! Most teams have long needless gaps between games. The matches are unneccessarily “spaced out” to drag the tournament over so many weeks.

All matches have been divied up between the West (Sharad Pawar), Central (Lalit Modi) and North Zone (IS Bindra), despite the fact that there are so many venues in the country. The BCCI politics has not changed, its only that the power blocks have new players!

RTIA: Finally, A Max Penalty

For the first time in more than a year since the Right to infomation Act was passed by the Infian Parliament, the Chief Information Commission has slapped a maximum fine of Rs 25,000 on Banaras Hindu University registrar, N Sundaram, because he did not make available to an applicant an inquiry report on incidents leading to the death of Yogesh Roy, a student, in January. A great step for forward for the Right to Information movement.